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Posted at: May 18, 2018, 1:37 AM; last updated: May 18, 2018, 1:37 AM (IST)SWACHH BHARAT SARVEKSHAN 2018

Will Jalandhar pass the litmus test?

Will Jalandhar pass the litmus test?

Rachna Khaira

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 17

With Chandigarh declared the third cleanest city of India in the Swachh Bharat rankings 2018, hope has risen amongst city residents to see Jalandhar among the top clean cities of the country.

While the Ministry of Urban Affairs announced over 54 awards in various categories, the ranking of other cities is expected to be announced soon. Even though the Municipal Corporation of Jalandhar attained 28th position in the Swachh Sarvekshan held in over 73 cities across the country in 2016, the position dipped to 233 among the 434 cities that were surveyed in 2017.

However, this year, the situation seemed to be grimmer and the ranking is expected to fall further as the civic body witnessed a lot of turbulence due to the delimitation process that took place ahead of the municipal polls early this year.

Even though the wards in the city were increased from 60 to 80, with many new areas brought in the new delimitation plan, the sanitation workers were not distributed according to the new ward plan.

While some of the wards have got more than two dozen sanitation staff working round the clock, some wards do not have more than two staff members.

The situation worsened further with the municipal elections held in the city. While the outgoing House lost focus to keep the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan rolling in the city months before the elections, the new House also spent a lot of time to get the work resumed!

City sans community toilets

In another major jolt to the Swachh Bharat mission, the Municipal Corporation of Jalandhar (MCJ) was unable to find any vacant space to construct public toilets in market areas.

The problem is severe in markets situated in the central town and basti areas. According to MC officials, even though there are not many vacant spaces available in these areas and even those which are available, cannot be utilised as people nearby have refused to get toilets constructed near their homes.

Around 2,500 to 3,000 people are visiting Rainak Bazaar and Peer Botlaan Bazaar every day. However, there is not even a single toilet available inside the congested lanes even for women.

Swachhta App fails to woo city residents

While the whole country is going gaga over the success of the Swachhta App, it appeared a biggest failure in the city, as only 20,000 city residents living in over 1.70 lakh households have so far got themselves registered with it.

The MCJ has received over 2,000 complaints pertaining to sanitary and other cleanliness problems and has claimed to have resolved all of them. Many colleges such as HMV College are also running Swachhta clubs since January this year to create awareness among youths.

Overall situation grim, dustbins stolen

In reality, the city, with an estimated population of 8.73 lakh in over 80 wards, has to witness the Swachh Bharat revolution in many areas. Though taking many measures, the civic body has installed over 500 roadside bins on major roads and has also placed other bins at sensitive littering points. The effort proved futile in the absence of a dedicated garbage collection service by the civic body. The bins, due to their less capacity, remain filled and garbage scattered throughout the day, showing the plight of the Swachh Bharat project in the city.

Waste management biggest challenge

With no site of any waste management plant to come up in near future, waste management remains the biggest challenge for the MCJ till date. Though it had planned and even earmarked a site to install a compost plant, the project is still in conception stage. Meanwhile, the civic body had begun a waste segregation project in the Model Town area in around 20 houses. But that could not prove to be a success.

Examiner and marking pattern

A team from the Karvy database visited the city to conduct the survey. Out of the total 4,000 marks, over 1,400 marks were exclusively kept for the citizen feedback. Another 1200 marks were kept for direct observation of the cleanliness by the survey team.


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